The Planner and the Pantster

My wife is a planner. She likes organization. I, on the other hand, am comfortable with chaos and spontaneity.  As we arrive ever closer to retirement, her planning gene is showing itself in very funny ways.

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Although our maiden journey won’t be until sometime in March, I nearly fell off my bed laughing when out of the blue she sent me this text message on September 15th.

My Wife: Watching the Seahawks game, then washing the RV. Do you think we should make a list of frozen foods for our trip in March?

Me: LOL no

My Wife: OK

Me: Let’s go with the flow baby (at this point I am laughing so hard, my cat Nico has crawled under the covers because I startled him so badly)

My Wife: Sure! 14/13 Seahawks (and…back to the game).

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In my wife’s mind, this was a perfectly reasonable question. She wanted to plan out what to put in the freezer in preparation for our journey because we would need to potentially cook certain items, such as chili. In my mind, everything and anything we would want or need, we could get on the way. I told her when I saw her in person that I was positive restaurants, grocery stores, and farmer’s markets were abundant no matter where we traveled. We would not starve!

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It is no surprise she is researching AAA versus Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) five months in advance. She’s also researched and sent me videos and pictures of all the places she wants to travel to.  My job is to purchase whatever items on Amazon are needed for the RV, including a very complete set of maps (as soon as she finds the set she wants after hours of research). Because…of course, we need to plan this out years in advance. I get these text messages at random intervals and they always make me laugh.research

If it were up to me, we’d simply get in the RV and drive to wherever the road takes us. Detours welcome. But, as much as we are different, we are the same. We’re both obsessive and we both do tons of research. We just do different types of research, for different reasons and obsess over different things. It is the thing that both brings us together and makes us a complimentary set. As a couple, we work.

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I often wonder how I survived before my wife. As a pantster, not only do I write in such a way that I never know what is around the corner, but I also live my life that way. At times, I paint myself into a corner and have to figure out a new direction. I’ve had more than my share of “whoops”. However, pansters are nothing if not adaptable. As a “go with the flow” kind of person, I am usually very Zen about problems. I must admit, it is nice to have lodging and travel arranged for me, so I don’t have to worry. My wife has taken over all travel arrangements, even when she wasn’t able to accompany me to conferences because she’s so much better at it than I am.

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As I think back on the people in my life, I’ve always gravitated to my polar opposites. I sensed I needed that. When I was an exchange student, I joined the exchange program and traveled with a friend. She made practically all the decisions on where we would travel and when. She was like my own personal travel guide. She’d researched all the places to go and would rattle off their history. Yet, people should never mistake planners as being stuffy or rigid. My friend was a wild child and my wife brings her own brand of fun to any and every event. Truth be told, she’s the party animal, not me, and everyone loves her for it.

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I’m comfortable with my pantster writing style AND my approach to life. As much as my wife balances me out, I think I allow her a little more spontaneity.  If you want to experience my pantster writing style…you know the drill, click the links below.

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8 thoughts on “The Planner and the Pantster

  1. You’ve described my wife and I perfectly except that I’m the plotter/planner and she’s the pantser. Somehow it works for us too!

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  2. Great Friday blog! Only if I could eat skittles for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I wouldn’t need to plan for my/our food. I can’t wait to see your blog of our first trip across country in the deep snow of Montana and Denver!

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  3. I agreed with every bit of your thought process. Does this mean that I am the Annette in my marriage? If so, I am okay with it.

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